Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Eats: 4-2-1 Soup

Hello! In the current issue of Oprah magazine, the headline "Eat Two Pounds Of Vegetables A Day" dominates page 119. However, in the accompanying text, Joel Fuhrman, MD - author of several books on healthy eating - says: "...just use this figure as a reminder to eat a hefty amount of veggies every day." (the vegetables should be eaten as half raw, half cooked)

A good reminder indeed, especially after the typical holiday season feasting of fruitcake, Christmas cookies and other goodies! And since cold, snowy weather has returned here, soups seem a good way to up the veggie total. 

Came across the intriguingly-named 4-2-1 Vegetable Soup earlier this morning on the Gardenista website, and decided to whip it up for lunch. The recipe title refers to 4 cups vegetables, 2 cups broth and 1 cup dairy (milk, cream, yogurt, sour cream). Prep/cooking directions are very easy. 

The author stressed root vegetables - but then went on to show soups made with cauliflower or canned tomatoes. Those obviously aren't root vegetables, so I decided it'd be okay to use some already-cooked winter squash I had in the refrigerator. This made the prep time even faster!

Even though my winter squash was already cooked, I decided to simmer it in the broth anyway; this step only took 10 minutes. I used a supermarket product, Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base, to make the two cups of broth. 

After cooking, the squash/broth base was pureed in the blender, then poured back into the saucepan. I added the one cup dairy - in this case, yogurt. Seasonings are left up to the cook; it depends on your tastes, what vegetable was used, and of course what you happen to have on hand. I used some fresh-ground black pepper, a bit of cayenne pepper, and several dashes of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. I just kept tasting the soup as it was heating until it tasted right. (didn't need to add salt since there was plenty of it in the broth base)

The finished product:

You can't tell from the photo, but this is a two-cup serving, so it helped with that two-pounds-of-vegetables-a-day advice.

This recipe was quick and easy to prepare and since the author says it freezes well, it would be fun to try out different vegetables and then freeze the resulting soups in individual portions. Broccoli or potato soups come to mind. 

Note: I've seen soup recipes that use soy or nut milks, so if you're avoiding dairy products, I'd assume they'd work in this recipe. As stated above, though, I did use a dairy product. 

If you want to try this recipe, go HERE.

Hmmm...I still have some winter squash left in the refrigerator. Do you think Dr. Fuhrman would count a serving of winter squash pie as a vegetable?

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